Scandal and sex sell, even in the serious business of presidential news coverage. The media deference shown to Kennedy and the scrutiny applied to Clinton illustrate the changed relation between the two, and bookend this pertinent, updated 1998 Choice Outstanding Academic Book award-winner. Liebovich tackles misconceptions about the media's role in politics; how chief executives cooperate with and manipulate the press as it suits their needs; and how ratings pressures have bent coverage of elections and the Executive Branch for the worse.
Well-written, thorough, and the only book to explore the changing relation between the press and the presidency in the later twentieth century, students and researchers alike will profit from reading this work written by one of America's leading scholars in the field. For students interested in communications, history, or contemporary American politics, it is an unparalleled administration-by-administration introduction to the complex and intertwined workings of two of the most powerful and influential forces at work in American politics today. It furthermore provides researchers with a solid historical explanation of how both presidential politics and political news coverage have come to be popularly reviled and discounted.
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About the Author
LOUIS W. LIEBOVICH is Professor of Journalism at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Professor Liebovich has also written The Press and the Origins of the Cold War, 1944-1947 (1988, Praeger) and Bylines of Despair: Herbert Hoover, the Great Depression, and the U.S. News Media (1994, Praeger).
Table of Contents
The 1960s: Tragedy and Transition
Myths of the 1960 Election
Kennedy and the Resurgent Presidency
Lyndon Johnson's Frustrations
The Press, The Presidency, and Vietnam
The 1970s: The Death of Pax Americana
Watergate as a Media Barometer
Mr. Ford's Double-Edged Sword
Jimmy Carter's Master Plan
The 1980s: Mortgaging the Future
The Great Non-Communicator
Media's Changing Role at the White House
The 1990s: Starting Over
George Bush and Other Fables
Bill Clinton's Bad Image
The 1994 and 1996 Elections
Election 2000: The Day the Earth Stood Still